Nothing says inconspicuous like a trailer completely covered in artificial Christmas tree branches parked on the street, right? Right? 
Eh, not really, but I love Justin Shull’s tricked-out single-wide, Porta Hedge, nonetheless. One half mobile eco-art exhibit and one half verdant suburban surveillance unit (L.A. Department of Water and Power officers on stakeout missions, take note), the Porta Hedge is indeed covered — camouflaged, if you will — with recycled artificial Christmas trees. Shull and his team refer to the exterior as a “green wall of privacy,” making it ideal for incog nature watching, stealthy neighbor-spying, and other voyeuristic pursuits.

The interior of the Porta Hedge is called a “mobile observation lab” it’s outfitted with a high-tech closed circuit monitoring system, peepholes for spying, rope swings for chillin’, chalkboards for taking notes, air-filtering plants, and a toilet so one doesn’t have to leave the unit during covert operations. The Hedge is powered by photovoltaic panels, and there’s even a “bird cam” with prerecorded birdsongs to attract winged critters.

Want to see (or not see) the Porta Hedge? It’s on tour now (future stops include NYC and Connecticut) while a special “Backyard Naturalist Study” Hedge is on display at the U.S. Botanical Garden. The Porta Hedge tour blog is one of the more amusing things I’ve read in a while with entries dedicated to a helicopter lift into the middle of the Grand Canyon, a visit to the Las Vegas Strip, and gang activity in St. Louis. Check it out.  

Unlike the Porta Hedge, which attempts to cleverly blend into its surroundings, Brooklyn-based artist Kevin Cyr’s Camper Bike, another interesting twist on mobile living, is difficult to conceal. It’s an in-bed truck trailer built onto the top of a custom, three-wheeled bicycle. Like a circus clown on a Segway, you’ll see it coming from a mile away.
Although it doesn’t exactly present a practical living situation, the human-powered-mobile-living idea behind Camper Bike is fascinating, and Cyr’s paintings of his work (yes, he did build a functioning sculptural prototype) are beautiful. 
Via [Dornob] and [Re-Nest]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.